Description: This course provides an introductory survey of income tax designed to provide students with some understanding of a complex and detailed statute. The course focuses on the Income Tax Act. Although the emphasis is on the Income Tax Act, cases and administrative pronouncements are also dealt with where appropriate. The primary objectives of the course are to gain an understanding of the general principles underlying the Income Tax Act and to learn how to work with a complex statute. The central focus of the course is on the taxation of individuals.
The material for this course will be delivered in an asynchronous lecture format supplemented with optional synchronous sessions for questions and application. In addition, there will be in-person content to whatever limited extent proves possible. The asynchronous lecture content will be posted to the course Moodle page on the scheduled lecture days. My lecture style and supplementary PowerPoint materials are well-suited to this method of course delivery. All assigned readings will be supplemented by detailed PowerPoint materials. These materials are not cryptic bullet point summaries of the readings. Instead, they are carefully prepared to bring greater context, organization and coherent explanation to assigned readings. All PowerPoint materials follow a disciplined, consistent and orderly format, breaking materials down by topic and sub-topic. The verbally delivered lecture content tracks very closely with the PowerPoint materials, adding further explanation, context and debate to these materials. If students scrutinize the readings, digest the supplementary PowerPoint materials and listen carefully to the recorded lectures, they will be equipped to succeed in the course.
I recognize that the law school experience needs to include opportunities for direct engagement with course instructors. I strongly discourage students from treating the course as a purely passive learning experience. In addition to participating in the optional synchronous sessions, students are welcome (as individuals or groups) to seek direct engagement with me on any aspect of the course on an “as scheduled” basis. This engagement can occur through whatever platform works best, including Zoom, email or phone. Students are invited to liberally draw on direct engagement opportunities to introduce themselves, ask questions about assigned materials, discuss principled disagreement with positions taken in the lectures and/or discuss the course (or the profession) more generally.
Opportunities for direct engagement with me will be at the option of students. Law students are experienced adult learners with the agency to determine for themselves when direct engagement will facilitate their learning style and objectives. Optional direct engagement is about giving students control over their own learning, allowing them to identify for themselves when direct engagement will further their learning style and course objectives.